Central Bank of Myanmar to issue new foreign bank licences from 2020

Mandalay, Myanmar

In a move to further liberalise the financial services sector, the Central Bank of Myanmar will start issuing the third round of foreign bank licences from next year allowing overseas lenders to open subsidiaries in the Burmese market.

Foreign banks can apply for licences to set up either a branch or a subsidiary.

To secure a subsidiary licence, foreign lenders will be required to maintain a minimum paid-up capital of $100 million. Banks will be allowed to operate both onshore wholesale and retail banking, with the latter scheduled to start from January 2021. Subsidiaries can set up 10 entities including branches or off-site ATMs.

Meanwhile, the licence norms to set up a branch remain unchanged. Overseas banks need to maintain a minimum paid-up capital of $75 million with $40 million locked up for two years with the Myanmar central bank.

Furthermore, existing bank branches, which have been in operation for three years in Myanmar, will be allowed to convert into a subsidiary from June 2020.

The decision to further liberalise the local banking market is “in line with the Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan”, the central bank said.

From January 1 next year, the apex bank will also consider increasing the foreign ownership limit in domestic banks to beyond 35 per cent on a case by case basis.

Since 2014, Central Bank of Myanmar has conducted two rounds of stringent licensing process, providing branch licences to 13 financial institutions in the Asia-Pacific to operate wholesale banking business in the frontier market.

Myanmar has 45 foreign banks that have established representative offices in the country. The country has four state-owned banks: Foreign Trade Bank, Investment and Commercial Bank, Economic Bank and Agriculture and Development Bank.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.